Subject: Re: Looking for Lisp compiler From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 29 Dec 2002 02:58:21 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Pascal Bourguignon | Yes, sorry if I sound caricatural, but I can only compare the | support I've never been able to get from Microsoft/Sony for the | Vaio of my niece (for a MS-Windows-Me problem) vs. the bugs in | NeXTSTEP BSD layer that never have been corrected in any new | version (at least Apple freed Darwin) vs. the support and | maintainance I get (and give) everyday on usenet for GPL'ed or | BSD'ed software. So what you need is to become a customer of a commercial enterprise that provides much /better/ service than you can get with the Free Software and you would instantly change your mind? Some of us have had that experience. I strongly suggest that you accept that people can actually have happy experiences with commercial software despite your unhappy experiences and therefore find your caricature damning for you, not for the commercial software you have yet to experience. What is so tragic about so many (rabid) Free Software adherents is that they remain Microsoft victims even when they decry its evil. It is not unlike freeing slaves whose slave psychology remains, and instead of experiencing the liberty to partake in the possibilities before them and enjoy the freedom to fail without punishment and reap the benefits of their success, they cling to the security of knowing the outcome of their actions as determined by their master, and so freedom presents them with problems, not opportunities. The Microsoft victims truly believe that Free Software is the solution to their problems, but their problem was getting no support and now they think software must be free in order to get good support. It is all hogwash! This is not what Free Software was about! This is not the reason people fight for Free Software! Microsoft does not even /exist/ in the Free Software universe -- Microsoft is entirely irrelevant. Whether Microsoft provides shitty or no service is of /zero/ consequence in the Free Software universe. Free Software is not about support at all. Using it as an argument is specious at best. Free Software is about your ability qua user to look under the hood. That (or if) you can hire somebody do this for you is entirely immaterial. The freedom to ask somebody to do something for you in exchange for another service or money is an aspect of the environment in which Free Software exists, but the freedom to look under the hood is essentially disconnected from this aspect. Once bitten, twice shy, the saying goes, but it appears to me that many people are of the "bitten, thence shy" persuasion, and it is as impossible to change their mind as it is to unbite them. The doctrine of forming all of one's opinions after the first encounter with anything is well known under a variety of names, all nasty and properly derisive of those who succumb to it, but until and unless many people understand that they do in fact subscribe to it, they appear to believe they have a right to an opinion about that which they have yet to experience based on what they have experienced so far. Some even claim that this lunacy is "scientific" and that one cannot escape prejudice. Again, hogwash! People can /think/ and they can make new choices without any obligation to tell you about it, so no amount of "historic evidence" can predict the future of someone's choices, very much unlike physics. To become satisfied that you have seen all there is to see from someone is the ultimate disrespect towards that person. Most people acknowledge this when they face the naked facts, but still return to this loathsome and vile practice whenever they hope to get away with it, such as when they deal with "businesses" instead of "people". Please try to understand that the quality of the support you get is completely irrelevant to the issue of Free Software. Would you abandon Free Software as a concept if you got lousy service from one or even many suppliers? But you abandoned commercial software because of bad experience with one or a few suppliers of commercial software? Pardon the passion when I ask you a heartfelt question: What the hell were you /thinking/? Drawing that kind of conclusion from that kind of evidence strongly suggests that you are unable to think clearly and instead try to prop up your emotional conclusions with delusions of logic, with mere rationalization. You are not alone in this mind-boggling stupidity, just as there are numerous people out in the real world who still believe that as soon as they know somebody's /race/ they can stop learning about them as people. You should be smart enough to realize that your personal experience is entirely immaterial as part of a critique of a system, and even more so to support your negative attitude to future experiences and those of other people you do not know. You ought to be /ashamed/ of yourself for trying to pull such a fantastically stupid stunt in a newsgroup of /really/ smart people. The /arrogance/ of trying to fool people with such mind-numbing idiocy has marked /your/ past and has obliterated any trust in your thinking ability so far. But according to the principles I laid down above, you, too, have the ability to think and make some intelligent choices. Now, hear me when I tell you that nobody is interested in your past, in what you believe is your personality or your identity or your personal pride. You are only your arguments and your articles to this forum, and we know /nothing/ about you as a person, nor does anybody care. Only a bigoted idiot would deny /you/ the chance to change your mind and fix your mistakes. That means that your personal defense of your past is not suitable for this forum, however strongly you feel the urge to defend yourself. In a debate, you are /expected/ to learn when you are mistaken. Being a good debater means that you grasp the consequences of having your arguments shot down: You re-open them only if you have a solid argument to support them and refute the refutation, and attacking those who shot them down /does not/ count in that regard. And please realize this: This debate is not about what /you/ feel like doing, what /you/ have experienced that gave rise to your desires, but about something that could apply to other people with other experiences than yours. Therefore, what you need to present as an argument is not what you experienced, but why anyone should care about it. But, since you have opened this argument in this newsgroup, where it has been opened hundreds of times before, even though it does not belong here, the sheer arrogance you display by expressing a belief that nobody has ever heard /your/ arguments before, I have also formed a set of expectations about your ability to reason and think clearly and grasp what you should do to present a coherent argument to us that is at least /somewhat/ novel in this forum if you have to discuss such an /off-topic/ issue here to begin with. That does not mean that you cannot start thinking without telling me or that you must feel obliged to continue down only one path. I ask you, implore you, to reconsider whether you think anyone here is even remotely interested in your personal experiences or has not heard your pro-Free Software arguments before and whether you could hope to change anyone else's mind when yours is apparently made up for good. People here are generally experienced programmers, not a cobble of newbies who need to be led onto the One True Path by another newcomer to the newsgroup. When older and wiser people than you do not accept your self-evident truth, it is time for you to stop and think: at the very least, it is not self-evident, and it may not even be the truth. Another thing you might want to consider is that those who want to discuss the programming language (family|Common) Lisp may simply ignore you and hope you go away, and that those who respond to you are just really pissed off that we have yet /another/ Free Software zealot waste everyone's time with this non-issue in this forum. The desire to have everyone else agree to one's personal opinion may run strong in some people, but it has no place in a programming language forum, no matter how strongly felt the opinion or its gravity to the world in general. Those who want do discuss this issue are generally found over in gnu.misc.discuss. As a personal advice to you, I would very strongly suggest that you adopt a different attitude. Try some humility towards people you do not know -- they may be the people who some day decide your very future, or they may just be the people who could help you, but may decide not to based on your perceived arrogance and aggressiveness about what you currently believe and your apparent lack of ability to listen to people unless they do exactly as you tell them to. If you see other people as negative or harsh towards you, it is a good idea to examine what you have done to them first rather than go on and aggravate matters by doing it again -- people react negatively for a reason, and insisting that you are faultless tends to annoy people more than anything else. -- Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder. Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.